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Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Palestinian Stock Exchange Lacks Public Regulation - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

"Any modern state should seek to establish a modern stock exchange to buy and sell various types of stocks and attract foreign and domestic investment, including small-scale traders, because doing so boosts the economy. Stock markets have become indicators that are followed by economic and financial-policy makers.

Stock markets are tools for investment and development, but they can also play a role in financial crises, as happened in east Asia in 1997, when the economies of Thailand, Indonesia and others collapsed overnight. For this reason, stock markets are usually highly regulated and governments can sometimes directly intervene in them, as happened in Egypt after the revolution."

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Ma'aden-Alcoa Joint Venture Completes Saudi Arabia's First Engineered Wetlands System to Treat Two M - DailyFinance

"RIYADH, Saudi Arabia & NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Alcoa (NYS: AA) and The Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma'aden) today announced completion of a first-of-its-kind engineered wetlands wastewater management system in Saudi Arabia at the Ma'aden-Alcoa joint venture project site. The newly constructed system will reduce water demand by nearly two million US gallons (7.5 million litres) per day and save more than US$7million (SAR 26 million) annually that would otherwise be used to purchase fresh water.

The Alcoa-designed and engineered technology - known as a Natural Engineered Wastewater Treatment system - collects sanitary and industrial wastewater and then cleans and disinfects the water without the use of chemicals or the creation of water discharge and odors associated with conventional tank systems. The water will then be reused in the manufacturing process and for irrigation at the Ma'aden-Alcoa aluminum complex at Ras Al Khair. The complex includes a refinery, smelter and rolling mill."

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Exclusive: Qatar central bank governor sees time when dollar peg may be changed | Reuters

"Qatar may change its peg to the U.S. dollar when the economy becomes less dependent on hydrocarbons and local financial markets deepen, although no changes are currently being considered, its central bank chief said.

Asked by Reuters which economic conditions needed to be met for Qatar to consider changing its currency regime, Central Bank Governor Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani said:

"With increasing integration in international trade, services, and asset markets, a higher degree of exchange rate flexibility may become more desirable to ensure external stability and international competitiveness of our exports."

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Dubai Chronicle UAE Central Bank Postpones Direct Debit System

"The adoption of a direct debit system from accounts of consumers will be deferred with two months. That was announced by UAE Central Bank in a circular to the country’s banks.
Initially, the implementation of the system was planned to take place in mid-June. However, now it is moved to mid-August. In that way CB wants to provide more time to banks in the United Arab Emirates to cope with the various problems that have to do with the system. These issues were brought up by the banks that operate in the country via the UAE Banks Federation.
Currently UAE Central Bank is organizing different workshops and meetings with nominees and directors of systems and information from every bank in the United Arab Emirates. Through them, CB wants to update and inform banks on the all the essential things about the system. In addition, they are trying to also highlight its significance."

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Tabreed Climbs to 14-Month High on Property Revival: Dubai Mover - Bloomberg

"National Central Cooling Co. (TABREED) soared to the highest level in more than a year on investor optimism the supplier of air-conditioning systems is benefiting from a construction recovery in the United Arab Emirates.
The shares rose 5.2 percent to 1.82 dirhams, the highest close since March 2012. The stock was the second most active after Dubai Financial Market on Dubai’s benchmark index with about 81 million shares traded, or 5.8 times the three-month daily average. Dubai’s DFM General Index increased 0.7 percent.
Dubai is likely to add at least 11,200 rooms by 2015 as hotels such as Sofitel Palm Jumeirah, Anantara Royal Amwaj and Oberoi Business Bay are completed, broker Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. said last month. Saudi Arabia is pursuing more than $500 billion of investments to build infrastructure and industry, and create jobs for youth. Tabreed said April 30 one new cooling plant came online in the kingdom."

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BGCC200 Quote - Bloomberg GCC 200 Index - Bloomberg

BGCC200:IND

63.040.25 0.40%
As of 09:00:00 ET on 05/28/2013.
Recently Viewed Symbols

Snapshot for Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200)

Open:62.79Day Range:62.75 - 63.05Year To Date:+14.37%
Previous Close:62.7952-Week Range:54.60 - 63.051-Year:+15.75%

Index Chart for BGCC200

  • BGCC200:IND 62.79
  • 1D
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JuneJulAugSepOctNovDec2013FebMarAprMay50.0055.0060.00
May 27
62.79
Interactive BGCC200 C

Businesses Nix Saudi Minimum Wage | Crossroads Arabia

"Saudi Arabia’s National Workers’ Committee proposed a minimum wage of SR 6,000 (US $1,600) for Saudi nationals. Saudi businesses unanimously said, “No!”

All agree that SR 6K would be a decent salary. The businesses, however, say they can’t stay in business if they have to pay that, a four- or five-fold multiple of what they pay foreign workers and at least twice the going rate for low-skilled Saudis.

What’s encouraging is that the businesses aren’t rejecting the concept entirely; they’re just arguing about how deep a cut they’re going to have to take to their bottom lines. If they’re not earning a profit — or worse, if they’re losing money — then there won’t be any jobs, at any salary. Nor can businesses simply raise the prices they charge for their goods and services. Not only are prices of certain goods fixed by the government, but Saudis show great flexibility in finding substitute goods at lower prices, even if it involves Intellectual Property piracy or the black market."

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Fridman Faces Africa Setback After Failed Bid in Russia - Bloomberg

"Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman suffered a second setback this year for an effort to expand his telecommunications empire as his bid for Orascom Telecom Holding SAE failed to win support.
An offer of as much as $1.8 billion by Fridman’s Altimo for full control of Egypt’s Orascom failed after holders of 16 percent of the shares accepted it by yesterday’s deadline. Altimo, whose carrier VimpelCom Ltd. (VIP) already owns about 52 percent of Orascom, sought to buy the remaining 48 percent.
The result hinders Fridman’s bid to consolidate his phone assets in Africa and Asia and puts pressure on him to boost his offer. Fridman reaching control of 75 percent of Cairo-based Orascom would pave the way for him to delist the carrier and fully combine it with VimpelCom, reducing costs, according to Alexander Kazbegi, a Renaissance Capital analyst."

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REFILE-UPDATE 1-Ex-RBS MidEast and Africa CEO joins Abu Dhabi bank | Reuters

"Royal Bank of Scotland's former chief executive of its Middle East and Africa business is joining Abu Dhabi-based First Gulf Bank (FGB), the Abu Dhabi-based lender said on Tuesday.

Simon Penney, who resigned from RBS in March, will join FGB as head of its expanding wholesale banking division in July, a spokesman for the bank said on Tuesday, confirming an earlier report by Reuters. At RBS Penney was replaced by James Miller.

While Western banks have scaled back their operations in the region mainly due to issues back home, local banks, who are flush with liquidity, have been aggressively expanding and increasing their market share in investment banking activities."

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New draft Anti-Counterfeit Law in the UAE - Business Intelligence Middle East - bi-me.com - News, analysis, reports

Brand owners are voicing mixed opinions about a new draft law which is aimed at combating commercial fraud in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), including dealing in counterfeit goods and false advertising.
The proposed law is still in draft form but was endorsed on January 13 2013 at a Cabinet meeting chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE vice president and prime minister and the ruler of Dubai.
Sheikh Mohammed posted a series of tweets after the meeting, in which he described the proposed law's intention to protect local markets and safeguard the rights of consumers and traders, declaring that "transparency is crucial to support our national economy".
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Abu Dhabi's Al Noor Hospitals plans London listing to raise $150 million | Reuters

"UAE healthcare provider Al Noor Hospitals Group aims to raise some $150 million through an initial public offering (IPO) of shares on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) (LSE.L) to finance planned acquisitions.

The Abu Dhabi-based group, the largest private healthcare provider in the oil-rich emirate, is looking at several acquisition opportunities within the UAE, including a $50 million speciality treatment centre, said Sami Alom, chief strategy officer, declining to provide further details.

Al Noor is the second UAE healthcare company to launch an IPO and list on the LSE. In 2012, NMC Healthcare (NMC.L) raised 117 million pounds ($186.9 million), joining a growing list of Gulf companies seeking overseas listings in preference to moribund regional equity markets."

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Why Natural Gas Could be the next Crucial Industry for Australia

"Well how about that? Life may be grim in the industrialised welfare state for most people, at least in terms of real income growth. But according to new data, Australia is the happiest industrial country in the world! Take that, Sweden and Canada!

The study ranked 34 countries in 11 categories like health, environment, jobs and income. The data in the report, called ‘The Better Life Index’, comes from Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The only real blip in the news is that Australians rank their quality of life at 7.2 on a scale of 10. The Norwegians, Mexicans, and the Kiwis all reckon they are happier.

So come on Australia. Cheer up. You haven’t had a recession in 22 years. Yesterday, in case you missed it, we reported that the mining boom may not even be halfway over, according to our friend Phil Anderson. Phil’s work on long-term cycles (especially Kondratiev cycles) ought to be welcome news for beleaguered resource investors. And wait until you hear what he has to say about property."

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Qatar’s condensate production scales up to 900,000 barrels p..

"Qatar’s condensate production scaled up to 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2012 on the back of increased extraction of gas through various projects at the North Field, QNB said in its soon-to-be-published Qatar Economic Insight 2013.

The country’s crude oil production was estimated at 740,000bpd in 2012, the report said.

 “Condensate output has overtaken crude oil production and is expected to rise further,” QNB said."

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How the UAE is fighting criminality - The National

"The UAE can combat "new-age" criminality through technology, international cooperation and information sharing, a major conference heard yesterday.

Maj Gen Dr Obaid Al Ketbi, deputy commander general of Abu Dhabi Police, said combining these are key elements of the UAE's national security strategy.

"Staying abreast of technological developments, along with multilateral security cooperation and information sharing, is a main part of the UAE's national security strategy," he said at the Homeland Security Summit."

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India, UAE keen to conclude investment protection pact soon - The Economic Times

"Seeking to boost mutual cooperation, India and UAE discussed the possibility of early conclusion of an investment protection pact during the visit of Finance Minister P Chidambaram to the Gulf's financial hub.

The issue of early conclusion of the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA) was discussed between the visiting minister and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces.

BIPA, according to sources, is aimed at encouraging flow of investments into India, especially in the infrastructure sector."

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WTI Falls a Fifth Day Before OPEC Meets as U.A.E. Sees Weakness - Bloomberg

"West Texas Intermediate crude fell a fifth day, the longest run of declines this year, as the United Arab Emirates said global demand will stay “relatively weak.” OPEC is forecast to keep its supply target unchanged on May 31.
Futures slid as much as 1 percent in New York after capping a 2 percent weekly drop on May 24. Floor trading was closed yesterday because of the Memorial Day holiday. Current prices are “suitable and fair,” said Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei, the U.A.E.’s energy minister, according to the official WAM news agency. The U.A.E. is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which is expected to keep its output target at 30 million barrels a day when the group meets in Vienna, a Bloomberg News survey shows."

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Dubai’s towering skyscrapers are built by a “horrifically exploitative labor system” - Quartz

"A recent labor strike against Arabtec, the Dubai-based construction firm responsible for building the United Arab Emirates’s version of the Louvre, highlights the latent stirrings of unrest in the country, which could prove to be a stumbling block toward stability going forward.

Thousands of laborers refused to show up for work at construction sites owned by Arabtec last week, demanding back wages owed, improved working conditions and pay raises. The illegal, four-day strike (all labor strikes are against UAE law) was quickly quashed as 200 protestors were taken into custody and await deportation.

“The strike is a reflection of the desperation that workers feel, which is a result of a horrifically exploitative labor system,” said Nicholas McGeehan, Middle East consultant at Human Rights Watch. “Given that strikes are met with deportation orders, workers don’t take these actions lightly.”"

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Jumeirah Said to Raise $1.4 Billion Loan as Dubai’s Costs Drop - Bloomberg

"Jumeirah Group LLC is raising $1.4 billion in a six-year loan as the operator of Dubai’s iconic sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel takes advantage of a drop in borrowing costs, two bankers familiar with the plan said.
State-owned Jumeirah will pay 2.75 percentage points above the London interbank offered rate for the loan, according to the bankers, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Lenders have been given four weeks to respond with commitments to the facility, they said.
Investor appetite for Dubai assets has improved as state-linked companies paid or refinanced about $4.65 billion of debt since the start of 2012. Dubai’s five-year credit default swaps, which measure the cost of insuring the emirate’s debt, have tumbled almost 50 percent in the past 12 months."

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Arab World: Banking & Finance 2013 - FT - (Click here for PDF)



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